Catering staff poached by stores for Christmas rush

The
catering industry faces a recruitment crisis because part-time Christmas staff
are defecting to 24-hour supermarkets.

Tesco,
Sainsbury’s and Asda will recruit a total of 15,000 temporary staff, mainly
students and people unable to work conventional office hours, in the build-up
to Christmas.

Jane
Sunley, managing director of the Mayday Group, which provides catering staff
for corporate events organisers across the country, told Personnel Today that
the main supermarket chains are luring temporary staff away from catering.

Contract
catering has been hit particularly hard, with 23 per cent of vacancies still
unfilled, compared with the sector average of 14 per cent. There are 30,000
unfilled catering vacancies in London, which has more 24-hour supermarkets than
any other part of the country.

Sunley
said, “Some of the big stores have offered incentive schemes to attract
potential staff in the build-up to Christmas, and they seem to be targeting
staff who would normally be working in the catering industry.

“The
catering industry is going to have to improve pay and conditions if it is to
attract staff away from the big supermarkets.”

The number
of stores each company plans to open varies, but 300 24-hour Tesco stores

will be
conducting business as usual and 80 Asda outlets will be opening all day and
night.

British
Hospitality Association spokesman Miles Quest agreed that improved recruitment
lies with pay and conditions.

By Richard
Staines

Comments are closed.